It’s a Thursday night. The High Street is already crawling with teenagers out on a ‘Dirty Thursday’. The night clubs are blaring out the latest chart remixes. Just outside all of this mayhem, but still in town, behind the college and perched on the side of the River Trent, is The Appleby. It’s nothing special to look at from the outside, white walls and a door that lands straight onto the street. However, walk inside and you are greeted by blood red walls, oversized canvasses of such icons as ‘Sweeney Todd’ and the shrunken heads above the bar, no, this is not like the karaoke bars down the High Street. Known by locals as the alternative/rock/metal bar it sees people from all walks of life passing through its doors, with only a few rules – including the normal ‘no drugs’ – the most important rule for this place (which is posted outside the front door) is; “No Fighting“, this is probably the only venue in town tonight that will not need fights broken up by bouncers, regulars and non-regulars alike socialize to share the thing everyone has in common here: Music. There are live bands here almost every Friday and Saturday with bookings now going into 2012 as it is so popular.
The first act of the evening was a young solo artist by the name of Johnny Saisbury. Opening with a song called “Everyone has aids” his hands were a blur as he played extraordinary cover after cover with the help of pre made drum beats on the mixer. Being rather young in age himself he drew in a good crowd for an opening act. Friends or not of this young musician the faces around the bar were those of enjoyment. Encouraging the younger fans into a wall of death mid set was the pinnacle for Johnny, he had done what he came out to do, and he had had a good time, showed many new people his talent and got his audience to almost knock themselves out with excitement.
The main support act of the evening was a four piece metal band named Dead Man’s Conspiracy. Well known at The Appleby, the crowd was not-surprisingly larger than that of the opening act. Having been told beforehand that the band have not practiced in over two months there was slight speculation as to whether they would still be able to hold a crowd. Lead singer Marcus ‘Kong’ Jones put our worries to rest within seconds and had the crowd from the word go. Opening with ‘Perfect Crime To A One Night Stand’ the crowds at the entertainment side of the bar grew with an incredible rate.
Before they could even begin their second song, ‘When All Is Lost’ (a personal favourite of this reviewers), the crowd were shouting “D.M.C!” giving Kong and guitarist Jono Hornby the opportunity to get the crowd within breathing distance. Announcing track three of their set, ‘Dead On Arrival’ a track from their forthcoming (and from spectator opinion, much anticipated) album, the audience are already ready to mosh, head-bang and give this band the support they undoubtedly deserve.
Moving through their set Jono and bassist Tom Drage give us a show of their own up at the entertainment ‘stage’ (which is at floor level with the crowds in the bar) this also gave the audience a chance to see drummer Stevie, as Kong moves through the crowd screaming in the faces of fans and even handing over his microphone for DMCs more well-known lyrics. As they begin ‘Without You’ Jono dedicates the song to the crowd, encouraging applause and even more enthusiasm from the loyal fans stating “Without you, we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be doing this.” With their set flying with lyrical and musical colours Kong swiftly adds a new shade to the show by joining the mosh pit during an instrumental solo through ‘Voices’.
The next announcement from the band is not the one the crowd wants to hear – it’s the finale. Offering the fans a choice between another new track from their album ‘Far Beyond Hope’ or their infamous ‘Family Guy Jam’ (which covers parts of songs such as ‘Milkshake’ by Keris and ‘Peanut Butter Jelly Time’). The audience all start shouting “Peanut Butter Jelly Time”, it’s apparent that even though this began as some tom-foolery it is a favourite amongst the fans. Incorporating family guy quotes and hyping the audience up for the last time this set, and having to regrettably decline an encore (due to prior commitments of the band) it is safe to say DMC gave one hell of a show – again. (Dead Man’s Conspiracy are on Facebook if you wish to find them and tell them what you think of Charlie Sheen (check out Kongs tshirt in pics!))
Headlining band Brave Young Blood started their set with a bang. Wild and upbeat the mosh pit was in full swing (literally, there was windmilling actions), this reviewer actually feared for her life, well, maybe just her nose but same difference!
The story around the bar was that this was Brave Young Blood’s final gig – ever. Whether this is true or not the headliners seemed to take to the stage like ducks to water, although not the a-typical looking metal band, the five young men definitely knew what they were doing and where they were going with it.
The two vocalists harmonized well through their second track ‘By Your Good Graces’ and the rest of their set, encouraging and hyping up the crowd (as had the other bands) to mosh, head-bang and generally just cause (safe) mayhem in the bar. Unfortunately the extreme moshing and heat due to the amount of bodies in the bar caused reason to exit to the outside of the bar.
The talent overall at the Appleby on August 25th 2011 was immeasurable and without a doubt more reviews from these nights will be appearing. No night at this bar is ever the same, no same set of bands, no same audience the only thing that stays the same is the love and passion from the artists that get to play this venue. For further information on playing at The Appleby please contact Kevin Bullock, Landlord (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit The Appleby’s Myspace for upcoming events.
Written by Feeona Fletcher